By: Paul Beaird
If you like a high-action novel with adult-size, believable heroes living in the same world you do and, at the same time, the kind of book that’ll make you re-think every idea you’ve ever heard or lived your life by, you’ll love Atlas Shrugged.
In it, you’ll meet Dagny Taggart, a woman who runs a continental railroad against the resistance of her incompetent and politically-connected brother. You’ll meet Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastian D’Anconia, the latest heir to a world-wide copper empire, which he blows up, appearing to become a worthless playboy for a reason you can’t guess for 2/3 of the novel. You’ll meet Hank Reardon, the archetypical example of the American self-made industrialist, who invents a new kind of metal, stronger and lighter than steel. When you first meet him, he is unable to understand why, not only his country, but his family does not value his creativity and productiveness. He learns why over the course of the novel. The world you live in is the world he lives in, a world in which there are two opposite moral systems in deep conflict. In Atlas Shrugged, you’ll meet Ragnar Danneskjold, a modern-day, high-seas pirate who hijacks American relief ships carrying cargo to the failed People’s Socialist Paradises around the world. He sells the cargo for gold, which he uses to reimburse people’s income tax to them.
The main character? Him you don’t meet until 2/3 of the way into the novel. And when you do, you’ll have several emotional reactions, one of which is to laugh your head off, because you’ll realize that the author has laid clues about this character from the first sentence all the way through. He is the character who has let loose a plot in the world of the novel that makes it clear what the moral conflict is in the world and how it affects your life today, where you live.
This story will make you angry, make you cry, fill you with uplifting feelings, and cause you to say, “I’ve thought things like this before.” You’ll see the world around you differently. You’ll understand the people around you differently. You’ll see yourself differently.
The author is Ayn Rand, a woman whose life was adventurous as the novels she wrote. If you like Atlas, you’ll like all the rest of her books.
Now, the recommendation of Atlas Shrugged does come with a warning. Though English was not Ayn Rand’s first language, it is written in the purest, most crystal-clear English you have ever read. It will draw you along page after page and it is 1,000 pages. So, you are well-advised to eat, drink and sleep between sections of chapters.
There are two kinds of people who have read Atlas Shrugged. There are those who hate it and would love to gnash teeth on its author. Then, there are those, like me, who will say, “It changed my life.”
Several years ago, the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club did a survey among the nation’s readers, asking, “What book has most influenced your life?” The number one book was the Bible. Number two was Atlas Shrugged. In 2008 and 2009, during the rise of the Obama socialist agenda, Atlas Shrugged sold 720,000 copies, 53 years after it was first published. There are reasons why this is the most read book of the American freedom movement.
Ayn Rand is the thinker who champions you every time you spend time alone with your own mind, doing your own thinking about what you are experiencing in life. And, if you are a businessperson, hers is the only voice on planet Earth that gives a moral defense of your activity in society as a businessperson.
If you love your life on Earth, you’ll find Atlas Shrugged is the most inspiring novel ever written.
To visit the Atlas Shrugged website, browse on over to http://atlasshrugged.com/.
To see a video of a young woman telling how Atlas Shrugged has inspired readers for over 50 years, click on http://arc-tv.com/why-atlas-shrugged-changes-lives/